We partner with visionary entrepreneurs who are driven to revolutionize education





Owl Ventures is a venture capital fund that invests in the world’s leading education technology companies. We back entrepreneurs with solutions that seek to meaningfully drive improvement in student achievement.  We are laser-focused on the education market and take a hands-on approach in helping entrepreneurs scale their businesses into transformative category leading companies.

Current Portfolio

Abl. is building a software platform that seeks to become the operating system for 21st century schools. Their mission is to transform education by helping schools create flexible and collaborative learning environments by better leveraging their time and resources.

Founded at Rice University, Accelerate Learning has grown from a single product, STEMscopes, to a brand that now offers a variety of curriculum and professional development solutions that support early learning, Next Generation Science Standards, and state-aligned curriculum. 

Bakpax is a stealth-mode education technology startup using AI and Big Data to improve the lives of K-12 teachers and students. Teachers are overworked, underpaid, and underappreciated. Bakpax wants to help carry some of the load.


BetterLesson offers personalized professional development for K-12 teachers and administrators. The company delivers one-on-one virtual coaching, asynchronous support, and research-based, teacher-created strategies through a platform that can be accessed via the web or on mobile devices.

Degreed is a lifelong learning platform that helps individuals and organizations find, track, and recognize all learning. They are helping 3+ million people at over 150 organizations build the skills they need to invent the future.

DreamBox® Learning is a K-8 adaptive learning math platform that captures every decision a student makes while working in the program. The platform has the ability to collect more than 50,000 data points during every hour that a student uses the platform and millions of paths through its curriculum.


Kiddom is an operating system for K-12 classrooms that helps teachers plan, assess, and analyze learning. Kiddom solves a significant pain point for educators by integrating workflow and data enabling teachers and learners to unlock their full potential. 

Kuali delivers administrative software built specifically for higher education to more than 160 institutions using modern, cloud-based technologies. Thoughtfully-designed software streamlines processes to significantly reduce costs for student services, financials, research, and continuity planning.

LearnZillion offers a world-class digital curriculum and professional development platform that helps schools transition to the new standards. It was founded by a former principal and former teacher to serve a mission: helping teachers and parents meet the educational needs of all students.  


Lingo Live teaches employees at multinational companies to gain the English communication skills they need to move up in their career through live, personalized online lessons with native instructors over video conference. Lingo Live has taught employees at many of the largest and most innovative companies around the globe.

Newsela is addressing the needs of billions of students, adults and English language learners around the world who struggle to understand the content they want to read. Newsela's transformative literacy tool delivers daily news content at five reading levels and provides customized analytics to improve reading ability. 

Noodle Partners is an online program manager that provides the tools, services, and technology for institutions of higher education to offer high-quality, career-focused programs online. 


Panorama Education is bringing the power of data to education through an online platform. They help school districts, charter networks, and state governments conduct surveys of students, parents, teachers, and staff providing the analytical tools and solutions for improving schools.

Piper is a DIY computer kit that teaches engineering and programming to young students. Students assemble their own computer, with over 100 components, and then advance through a version of Minecraft Story. This hands-on approach promotes active problem-solving and empowers young people to help create the future.

Quizlet's study tools and applications are used by tens of millions of learners and teachers daily in countries around the world. Originally created by a high school sophomore to study French vocabulary, Quizlet is now one of the largest educational platforms in the world.


Raise is revolutionizing the way billions of dollars in college scholarships are accessed and distributed. Raise's online platform enables students to earn scholarships from colleges based on their academic and extracurricular achievements throughout high school.   


Securly is a cloud-based web-filtering solution designed to meet the needs of K-12 schools and parents that is re-shaping long held views on what it means to keep kids safe online. Securly filters unsafe social media, inappropriate websites and detects cyberbullying, threats of self-harm, and potential violence.


Thinkful is a new type of school that brings high-growth tech careers to ambitious people everywhere. The company provides 1-on-1 learning through its network of industry experts, hiring partners, and online platform to deliver a structured and flexible education. Thinkful offers programs in web development and data science, with in-person communities in up-and-coming tech hubs around the U.S.


Tinkergarten is the leading provider of outdoor early childhood education. Tinkergarten's technology platform, unique workforce model, and fast growing network of leaders bring high quality, play-based early learning to families across
48 states.




Owl Ventures, EdTech VC, Raises $185M to Lead Education Innovation

Owl Ventures Launches $100 Million Education Investment Fund

Kiddom Raises $15m in Series B Funding From Owl Ventures

Degreed gets $42M to help build a tool to help employees learn the right skills

Kuali Raises $10 Million From Owl Ventures To Help Higher Ed Transform Administration

Thinkful Raises $9.6M to Grow In-Person Hubs for Its Online Coding Bootcamp

With $14M Fundraise, Noodle Wants Colleges to ‘Pick and Choose’ How They Build Online Programs

Virtual Coaching Platform BetterLesson Raises $10M Funding Round

Piper raises $7.6 million to expand its DIY computer kits for children

Tinkergarten Raises $5.4M to Get Kids to Go Outside, Play and Learn

Lingo Live raises $5.2 million to help employees become truly fluent

Securly raises $4 million to put guard rails on the internet for K-12 students

Accelerate Learning, Leader In PreK-12 STEM Education, Raises $10M Series A From Owl Ventures

Yammer co-founder Adam Pisoni raises $4.5 million for Abl Schools

Quizlet World's Most Popular Learning Tool, Passes One Billion Study Sessions; Raises $12M Series A

Newsela Makes More News With $15M Round Led By Kleiner Perkins

Newsela Raises $4.1 Million to Help Students Master Reading

Raise Labs Scores $4.5M to Help Students ‘Unlock’ Scholarship Money

Panorama Raises $12 Million to Help Schools Understand Their Students

DreamBox Learning® Secures $10 Million in Series B Funding

LearnZillion snaps up $13 mln

How one high schooler made $80K (without getting a job)

YouTube VP Matt Glotzbach Graduates to CEO Role at Quizlet


Tim Patterson

Tory Patterson
Managing Director and Co-founder

Tory Patterson is the Managing Partner of Owl Ventures. Tory is actively involved and serves on the board of directors of Accelerate Learning, DreamBox Learning, LearnZillion and Newsela.

Prior to founding Owl Ventures, Tory was a Partner at Catamount Ventures, a San Francisco based venture capital fund focused on mission-driven companies. While at Catamount, Tory advised several start-ups from the idea stage through launch, financing and commercialization. Tory was a key member of the team that incubated, supported and built Plum Organics, from early vision to becoming the world’s largest organic baby and kids’ food company, to eventual successful exit to Campbell’s. Tory founded and ran Catamount’s education investment practice where he led investments in leading education companies MasteryConnect, PresenceLearning, EdSurge, TenMarks (acquired by Amazon) Upworthy and Declara.

Tory earned a BA from Williams College and an MBA from Stanford's Graduate School of Business.


Jed Smith
Managing Director And Co-founder

Jed is a Partner at Owl Ventures. He is also the Founder of Catamount Ventures where he has served as Managing Partner since its inception in 2000. Catamount Ventures has raised four funds totaling over $200M and invested in 35 entrepreneurial enterprises. Jed has dedicated his business career to the art of entrepreneurship and to making a difference. Jed currently serves as Chairman of the Board of Directors of two firms - Linden Labs and Revolution Foods. In addition he serves on the Boards of directors of Banyan Water and Numi Tea and has also previously served as founding Director and Chariman of Plum Organics and on the board of directors of Seventh Generation. Prior to launching Catamount, Jed wrote the business plan and founded drugstore.com in 1997 that ultimately sold to Walgreens for ~$450M, serving on its board of directors with John Doerr, Brook Byers, Peter Neupert, Howard Schultz and Jeff Bezos. Before that, he co-founded and spent four years at Cybersmith, a retail store chain that showcased the latest advances in information technology and multimedia software. Jed was also Vice President of Sales at Tribe Computer Works, a networking hardware and software company that was successfully sold.

Jed began his career in technology working in the dynamic early years at Oracle corporation in the Direct Marketing Division with bosses and peers ranging from Tom Siebel to Marc Benioff, Dave Dewalt to Mike Decesare. at Oracle Corporation. World-class mentors have been critical to his Jed’s career.

Jed also has keen interests in the worlds of sustainability, education, providing access to those in need and stopping the cycle of mass discrimination and incarceration. He has also served on the boards of several education and non-profit institutions, including the Monterey Institute for International Studies, Shackleton Schools, the Cambridge Center for Adult Education and 10 years on the Board of Trustees of Middlebury College in Vermont. He lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with his wife Caitlin and their three kids Quinn, Annabel and Lilah.

Jed earned a BA from Middlebury College and an MBA from Harvard Business School.

kate chhabra

Kate Chhabra
Partner and CFO

Kate has over fifteen years of operating experience and is responsible for overseeing the operational and administrative functions at Owl Ventures. Kate began her career at ATEL Capital, a large San Francisco based leasing company, working in operations and human resources. She returned to human resources at CriticalArc Technologies, Inc. during its early seed stage. Later, she assumed all administration functions within the company as head of administration, overseeing both the accounting and office management departments as well. After CriticalArc, Kate acted as Director of Operations for a small business establishing and maintaining their operational procedures and basic administration. She then joined Catamount Ventures in 2003. Kate received a B.A. degree from The George Washington University.


Amit Patel

Amit Patel is a Partner at Owl Ventures. He has experience scaling several education startups and is deeply committed to building new organizations that will create sustainable and higher quality education solutions. Amit has worked closely with several education companies, including PresenceLearning, Revolution Foods, TenMarks (acquired by Amazon), Raise.me, MasteryConnect, LearnZillion, Accelerate Learning, DreamBox Learning and EdSurge.  Amit serves on the board of directors of Lingo Live, Securly and is a board observer for Panorama Education. 

Before joining Owl, he founded Personal Academic Trainers, an after-school tutoring company, and created the quality assurance program and institutionalized sales training for Mathnasium Learning Centers, an after-school math learning center franchise with over 450 locations on four continents. Amit also served as the Director of Technology for Success Academy Charter Schools, a premiere charter school network in New York City with over 30 schools.

Amit was an Education Pioneers Graduate School Fellow, and he earned a MBA/MA in Education from Stanford’s Graduate School of Business and Graduate School of Education. He also received a BA in Mathematical Economic Analysis from Rice University and studied theatre/film at The New York Conservatory for Dramatic Arts and New York University.


Tom Costin

Tom is a Partner at Owl Ventures. Tom has held numerous investment, managerial and advisory roles. Before joining Owl, he was a Private Investments Specialist at Cambridge Associates where he advised, or invested on behalf of, families, nonprofits, endowments and pension funds with assets ranging from $700 million to over $150 billion on their venture capital, private equity and hard assets investments. Tom has also served as a Managing Director at SoleTech, a leading supplier of materials and products for the footwear and orthopedic industries. As an MBA intern, Tom worked with the founding team at Castlight Health (NYSE: CSLT) where he helped create the company’s business plan and constructed revenue models. Prior to business school, Tom served as an Associate at FLAG Capital and as a Senior Associate at Cambridge Associates. Tom serves on the Advisory Board of Match Education. 

Tom received an M.B.A. from Stanford University and a B.A. from Bowdoin College.


Ashley Bittner

Ashley is a Principal at Owl Ventures. Ashley has played a leading role across a variety of education organizations, ranging from schools, to a school district, to startups, to the Federal government. Before joining Owl, Ashley served as a White House appointee to the U.S. Department of Education where she worked in the Office of Innovation and Improvement to support the development and scaling of innovative approaches to improving student outcomes across the country. Specifically, Ashley led the Department’s efforts to expand access to early college experiences for over 20,000 low-income students per year. Ashley has also worked as a Consultant for the Boston Consulting Group, where she advised retail companies, philanthropic institutions and conducted due diligence for private equity funds. Ashley began her career as a 7th and 8th grade Social Studies teacher in the Bronx through Teach for America. 

Ashley earned a MBA from the Wharton School and a MPA from the Harvard Kennedy School. She holds a BA in Political Science and History, with minors in economics and Latin American Studies, from the University of Florida Honors Program. Ashley is a Truman Scholar for the state of Florida (2006).


Rebecca Chatfield-Taylor
Executive Assistant & Office Manager

Rebecca is an Executive Assistant and Office Manager at Owl Ventures. She is responsible for keeping everyone on track and organized, as well as all event planning and office operations. And she does it with a smile!  
Rebecca began her career in advertising, specializing in branding, strategy and account services. She then segued into various positions in the fitness industry: Bar Method instructor, Pilates instructor, and Assistant to the Founder of The Bar Method. Several years of assisting entrepreneurs in various industries has provided Rebecca with the knowledge, perspective and experience to be a meaningful member of the Owl team.
Rebecca has a high level of organization, coupled with a healthy dose of perfectionism, a love of great customer service, and a desire to work with the best and brightest doing work that feels productive and will make a difference to those near and far.  Owl Ventures’ focus on education particularly resonates with Rebecca since her mother was a kindergarten teacher in the Massachusetts public school system for 36 years.
Rebecca grew up on Cape Cod, in Massachusetts. She graduated from Brown University with a B.A. in English.



Our growing portfolio companies are seeking passionate and skilled people who want to create innovative solutions to the most meaningful education issues.

Email us at recruiting@owlvc.com if you are interested in working with one of our companies.